Backup technologies and procedures, however, are not always foolproof. Failure can be a result of improperly implemented procedures, improper functioning of system hardware, software corruption or damage to media. A perfect backup plan relies on perfect harmony between humans, mechanical hardware and software to work properly. All too often data backups find themselves useless when data loss strikes.
Companies have been using multi array RAID systems to store their critical data extensively. It is important to know that RAID systems may be fault tolerant but they are also not fault proof. While most commercial RAID implementations can tolerate the loss of a single hard drive, failure of multiple hard drives or any other serious fault necessitates the use of RAID data recovery. With so much mission critical data stored in it there is a huge impact a failed RAID server has on company's core functionality. Thus RAID data recovery for companies is not a mere inconvenience but a huge financial liability and risk.
Data on a RAID array system becomes inaccessible due to any of the following reasons:
o A faulty RAID controller.
o Multiple hard drive crash.
o Malfunctioning upgrade or faulty striping.
o Defects with the MFT mount points.
o RAID controller failure or configuration changed.
o Adding incompatible hard drives.
o Hardware conflicts.
o Software corruption.
o Virus infection, software and operating system upgrades.
In these above conditions, the following steps should be taken immediately to increase chances of getting critical files back:
o Shutdown the server and turn off the system. Do not try to reboot again. This may cause serious damage to your hard drive.
o Do not attempt to recover data yourself. This may result in permanent loss.
o Do not continue to attempt a rebuild if you can not access data even after you have replaced a failed drive and tried to rebuild the array once. This may wipe out your data. RAID data recovery utilities and software are not designed to restore data or rebuild RAID arrays from failing hard drives. This requires specialized equipment and professional training.
o Swapping hard drives or re-ordering drives in a multiple drive RAID array may cause overwriting. This makes it very difficult to reconstruct the RAID array and salvage vital data.
o Seeking professional help from professionally trained data recovery engineers is the best solution. Most data can be recovered from malfunctioning RAID servers by these experts.
What do Professional Data Recovery Engineers do?
RAID server data recovery is one of the toughest and most challenging processes for any data recovery firm to undertake. The problems are often compounded by the user's actions before the drives are sent to professionals for recovery. There is a set procedure that most data recovery professionals follow when it comes to performing any recovery work. These procedures are followed and expanded upon when dealing with a RAID recovery.
The first step of any RAID recovery is to check where all of the drives are functional. This is important to ensure complete data recovery. To achieve this damaged drives are repaired in clean rooms till all of them function normally.
The second step is to make complete, sector-by-sector clones of every drive. In this process, the recovery technician gets to work around bad sectors, and exercise control over how the drive functions. During the cloning process, the original source drive that the user sends is generally put in a "write protect" mode so that no data can be written to the drive. This guarantees that the original source of data is not altered in any way. After completion of the cloning process, actual recovery process is performed on the cloned copies.
These cloned copies are firstly destripped. During destripping the data scattered over multiple drives of an array are placed onto a single destination drive. In most cases, if the damage is not too severe, a complete rebuild of the directory structure and all associated data can be completed. This along with the original source is then handed over to the user.
Beside these details on RAID Server data recovery, remember that although RAID data recovery is expensive, it is still cheaper than the cost of losing your data forever. The value of the data in terms of its intellectual currency may be in millions. A professional RAID data recovery service is the best solution to save data and maybe your company.